Pedal Uscrewed While Riding - WTF

Took off on my morning ride today and while I was jamming down a rocky and rutted maintenance road my pedal came off and I took a pretty good dive.

I thought the pedal spindle had broken but it wasn’t. Threads didn’t look stripped either just a tiny bit of damage on the outside thread from where it finally gave out. I found this event very curious.

Fortunately I didn’t get hurt and was only about a mile from home so I jogged back, cleaned up the pedal and crank hole, put it all back together and took off again. No more trouble. One more item on the safety check before I ride though.

Has this happened to anyone else? I had been practicing idling lately but nothing else out of the usual. The other pedal was still tight…

The obvious question is–unless you were riding backwards for a fair distance–were you pedals installed in the the right direction, right crank, right side, etc. I can’t see how they could unscrew themselves otherwise. But then they could have backed themselves out while you were Idling, but still that would seem strange. Glad you weren’t hurt!

I have been experiencing right pedal loosening (I’m regular footed). I’ve also been practicing idling.

this happened to me for the second time yesterday. my right pedal stripped my crank while doing some light riding… i used the same pedal when i fixed it the first time could it be the pedals fault? the pedal threads show no damage

Pedals are in their appropriate sides and have been that way for quite some time. I have been practicing riding backwards but on the 29er that equates to very little backward distance as I can usually only make it a revolution or two at a time so far. Much more time spent idling and going forward.

It was the right side which would be up when I idle if that lends a clue.

What kind of cranks? Moments in my example.

I have had a similar problem on my Torker where the pedal came loose and stripped out the aluminum crank hole. This was also after practicing backward riding but against a railing which afforded me much more backward distance. (Incidentally that is what brought me to this site in the first place :slight_smile: )

They where the aluminum cranks on my Coker. I have only gone forward on it and the cranks are on the correct sides.

The first time they broke i told the website I got it from and they gave me new cranks. I have only rode about 15 miles on the new crank before it stripped.

The pedal spindles are steel and the cranks are aluminum. Unlikely that the pedal threads would be damaged. Are you sure you didn’t cross-thread them when installing? They should screw in opposite directions.

yeah i know that the pedal should not have gotten hurt. Especially when i put on the second set of cranks. i made sure to put them on the right side, to make sure they are not cross threaded, and put in lock tight.
when/if i get another set of cranks should i use the same pedals or get new ones?

Well you can have the cranks on the right way but then the pedals on the wrong way, an easy mistake. I haven’t had this happen before, but I’ll be sure to look and make sure that nothing has changed after periods of idle or backwards riding practice.

I doubt that the pedals would be damaged. If there is no visible damage I would use them again. The steel is so much stronger than the aluminum.

Maybe I’ll try the loctite too!

You could superglue your pedals in, haha!

thats a good idea i might put gorilla glue in next time

Ah! I was just kidding! I wouldn’t do this, especially with a good pair of pedals/cranks. Unless you are only doing it on the outside of the crank, and if you have the proper chems to destroy it easily when you want to remove them.

I had a pedal come loose once on my old 20’’ pashley about 5 weeks after I’d learnt to ride, and I’d never even tried riding backwards. Luckily I noticed before it fell off (I was delivering eggs when it happened) and I’ve never had a pedal come loose since.

You deliver eggs on your unicycle?

What a strange thread. So far, only Deadbeatpope has confirmed that he had his cranks on “the appropriate sides”. Everyone else is still mute on the subject.

The thing is, pedals should not unscrew if they’re on the right way. Let’s get this out in the open. The right-hand pedal/crank go on the right side of the unicycle, that is, the side your right foot would be on. If not labeled, that’s the side that threads normally (righty-tighty). The left side threads backward.

Next, your pedals should be screwed in firmly. If you’re not using a good wrench for the process, you may not be getting a good tightness. The old adjustable crescent wrench I used to use back in the day, is too fat for most of the pedals I use these days. If you don’t have a wrench that’s thin enough for tightening pedals, you should get one. You can get a dedicated pedal wrench (bike shop or UDC), or even one that has a crank wrench on the other end.

You should not need to loctite or glue a pedal in. They don’t need to be super-tight, just screwed on firmly. If pedals that are properly installed are coming loose, it may mean there is wear & tear on the threads, making them looser, or more rarely, a defect in the crank or pedal where it’s not at the proper tolerances, and again fits too loosely.

Fess up, people. Check the threading. Got the right pedal on the right side?


I think so. They’d survived 15 years, and in that 15 years they have never been taken off. I think the reason one came loose is because I had only just learnt to ride, so the pedal could have just rattled loose from being repeatedly dropped.

Oh and pedals tighten towars the front, so right side tightens clockwise, left side tightens counter-clockwise. Should be stamps on the pedals and the inside of the cranks

What John said

The only other reason I can think for a pedal on the right side to come loose is If the bearing is seized or very rough creating enough friction for the pedal to undo against.